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Second Bremerton nursing home hit by COVID-19 outbreak

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 8, 2021

Associated Press

BREMERTON, Wash. — Another Bremerton nursing home has been hit by the coronavirus. This time it’s Stafford Healthcare at Belmont, where a COVID-19 outbreak has infected 37 people.

Three staff members and 34 residents at the facility have tested positive for the virus, said Stafford’s Administrator Robert Washbond. The first known cases came when two staffers tested positive on Dec. 16, but Washbond said it’s not known exactly how the virus entered the facility, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The outbreak is the first at Stafford since the pandemic’s start, though larger outbreaks have become increasingly common at long-term care facilities as coronavirus cases surged in recent months. Last month, 78 people were infected at Forest Ridge Health and Rehabilitation, prompting staffing issues at the Bremerton nursing home.

“Since the beginning of the nation COVID-19 outbreak, our residents, families and staff have been diligent in their efforts to contain the spread of the virus and to keep it out of our community,” Washbond said in an email to the Kitsap Sun.

Stafford has isolated residents who tested positive in a designated ward and put in place more frequent testing, Washbond said. Staff who tested positive were excused from work and asked to self-isolate at home. Families have been notified about the outbreak.

The outbreak comes just before residents and staff are set to receive the coronavirus vaccine, which Washbond said is scheduled for Jan. 12.

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